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New foreign trade policy seeks to reverse fall in exports

Thursday, August 27, 2009 (12:21:09) Tags: business, exports, India, Foreign Trade Policy New Delhi: India's new Foreign Trade Policy was unveiled today with a mix of fiscal sops and procedural reforms in a bid to reverse 10 consecutive months of decline in merchandise exports and ensuring healthy growth of out-bound shipments. The continuation of the popular duty-free export promotion scheme till end-2010, special sops for labour-intensive sectors and zero duty on capital goods import were some of the highlights of the policy unveiled by Commerce Minister Anand Sharma here. "My immediate priority is to arrest and reverse the declining trend in exports," he told the representatives of various export promotion councils and industry chambers at the Pragati Maidan trade and convention centre here. The minister also set an export target of $200 billion for 2010-11 with a growth of 15 percent over the next two years, with an overall medium-term objective of 25 percent annual growth thereafter. India's merchandise exports had fallen short of the target set for 2008-09 and were valued at $168.7 billion, up merely 3.4 percent over $163.13 billion in the year before. Exports were also down 31.3 percent in the first quarter of this fiscal. Nevertheless, Sharma said, India's share of global goods and services exports now stood at 1.53 percent, as opposed to 0.92 percent in 2003, while its share of global merchandise export was at 1.28 percent. (IANS)